Partner Up

Monday, October 24th, 2022

If you’ve been volunteering or working with vulnerable populations for any amount of time, you most likely are familiar with the concept of two-deep leadership. Two-deep leadership, which ensures that there are at least two unrelated, non-cohabitating adults in classrooms, youth meetings or other activities, should be one of the foremost components of your church’s abuse prevention policy.

It’s no surprise that the reason for emphasis on this policy is because it helps protect everyone—both the vulnerable and the ministry leaders and volunteers. Activities and communication are as transparent and open as possible.

What does two-deep leadership look like in your church or organization? When you walk around your spaces during church activities, do you see this in action? Whether you are a ministry leader or a volunteer, you can speak up if you see policies not being followed. It may feel awkward to report on someone, but ultimately, your vigilance can be the difference between a safe space and a risky situation.

In smaller churches where there may be a shortage of volunteers, this can definitely be a challenge. But use your creativity to come up with solutions that can keep your programs in place but keep those vulnerable populations safe.

Don’t forget about safety during Zoom or virtual meetings, too. Even though most organizations are getting back to more regular in-person attendance, many have opted to continue to offer virtual meetings in some cases. Two-deep leadership extends to these types of meetings as well. Some of the risks include inappropriate chatting or texting, inappropriate comments or content, and escalating grooming behavior.

Make sure that you are partnering up when you are volunteering or working with vulnerable populations!